November is National Adoption Month, a time when many American churches focus one Sunday to discuss the plight of the fatherless. Some hearts will be stirred to action, and will begin the process of fostering or adopting. Sadly, though, many who want to help a child will decide not to for a variety of reasons—some legitimate, others based on misunderstandings and fears.
Below I will address a few common arguments against adoption, and make a case for adoption. Before diving in, though, I’d like to be clear on one point. Adoption is not for everyone.
All Called to Help
The Lord doesn’t place a call on everyone’s heart to adopt. Nevertheless, I think the church should handle adoption and caring for the fatherless like we handle the Great Commission. While not everyone is called to adopt, as part of the church everyone does play a role in caring for the fatherless (James 1:27).
There are innumerable ways to carry out this role. Here are a couple suggestions:
- Incorporate the issue into regular preaching from the pulpit. God’s care for the vulnerable is evident throughout Scripture, so instead of a topical sermon consider addressing these themes regularly.
- Make adoption an inner-church dialogue between believers. Good theology should be the foundation of all action, and the theology of adoption should lead to action.
- Assist those who’ve chosen to foster or adopt by offering financial, emotional, and spiritual support.
- Pray for more children to be adopted. Pray for the parents fostering and adopting, and pray for the kids who’ve been adopted.
Three Common Objections
But what about those considering adoption who have concerns? Some of the common arguments against adoption are:
1. “We don’t have enough money.”
If the Lord wants you to adopt, he will provide the means to fulfill what he’s called you to. Yes, you may have to pinch pennies and save for a long time, and your desire for an adopted child may get delayed because of finances. But don’t lose hope. Domestic adoption is often a lot less expensive than international adoption, so consider adopting locally or fostering to adopt.
“Wait for the LORD,” the psalmist writes, “be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” (Ps. 27:14). May all who are watching you go through this process be encouraged and edified by your trust in God.
2. “I can’t love this child as my own since they don’t share my blood.”
Adoption’s been a part of my vocabulary for my entire life because I’m adopted, my five siblings are adopted, my cousin is adopted, and I seek to educate others on adoption. I readily acknowledge, though, that adoption isn’t as common for most.
Christians should be on the forefront of dispelling the notion you can’t truly love a child just because they don’t carry your genes. What a spectacular way to demonstrate the gospel to the world when we intentionally choose to love and care for those who aren’t like us. We can love extravagantly because God has loved us extravagantly. If it’s a temptation for you to think you couldn’t love a child because they aren’t your “own” flesh and blood, remember the essence of the gospel: God loved and chose you, even though you were an unworthy outsider.
3. “It’s going to be hard.”
You bet it is! But what worth having is easy? Ask yourself questions like:
Am I willing to die to myself, in order to rescue and love a child?
Am I willing to risk loving someone who might not immediately love me back?
As you ponder such questions, ponder Paul’s words:
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor. 12:9–10)
It’s when you’re at your weakest that the Lord shines most brightly through you, invading your heart with his strength. Don’t shy away from something just because it may be difficult. Go into adoption with your eyes wide open, knowing the Lord will be with you every step of the way.
Adoption and the Gospel
Your actions on earth have eternal consequences. Choose wisely. Choose well.
Adoption is beautiful, but it’s not natural. It’s a result of the fall. Yet God in his stunning grace has redeemed what’s been broken. He not only redeems the fatherless; he’s woven adoption into the gospel itself. As John Piper has observed, “The gospel is not a picture of adoption. Adoption is a picture of the gospel.”
Regardless of the path we choose, or the plans the Lord has for us, as Christians we are benefactors of the greatest adoption in history. Because of the finished work of Christ on the cross, we are adopted into God’s family as his sons and daughters. Brothers and sisters, rest and delight in your immovable standing with your heavenly Father.